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Allina Health expands use of N95 masks for staff

The change comes after a KARE 11 story that shared the concerns of a nurse who contracted COVID-19.
Credit: KARE 11

FRIDLEY, Minn. — Allina Health has changed its recommended procedures for nurses at Unity Hospital working with possible COVID-19 patients, to allow more of them to wear the N95 masks believed to offer the best protection.

KARE 11 shared the concerns of a nurse at Unity in Fridley, who said she was not using proper personal protective equipment (PPE) around suspected coronavirus patients, because of hospital guidelines. 

Sarah White told KARE 11 that she contracted COVID-19 and blames the fact that many nurses at Unity and other Allina hospitals treat patients with COVID without wearing an N95 mask, because of the global shortage.

In a statement, Allina Health said the decision to expand the use of the masks "is reflective of adjustments we're making as the virus activity changes and our commitment to the safety of our staff."

RELATED: Recovered from coronavirus, MN nurse questions protective equipment rules

Allina's full statement is below:

"Allina Health’s response to COVID-19 is dynamic as the number of cases in the community and our facilities grows, but we consistently follow MDH and CDC guidelines. Allina Health is expanding its utilization of N95’s in the zones within emergency departments where patients under investigation for COVID-19 are being cared for. Expanding use of N95’s into yellow or orange zones (in the case of Unity), is reflective of adjustments we are making as virus activity changes and our commitment to the safety of our staff."

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KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what companies in Minnesota are hiring. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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